Hammer throwers honour the Bertram memory

Tuesday 20th May 2014

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Three Scottish men in the top six in the current Commonwealth rankings.

A second best throw of all-time for Rachel Hunter, at 66.30m, at the Loughborough International Athletics event.

Four women beyond the 61m mark that is the qualifying standard for the Commonwealth Games in the same competition.

No fewer than 11 standards by our throwers over the course of the weekend at two venues including PBs for Chris Bennett and Myra Perkins as well as Hunter and an outdoor PB for Kirsty Yates.

Yes, it is quite a period for our throwers and particularly Scottish hammer throwers with the performance particularly appropriate on the first anniversary of the death of event ‘guru’ Alan Bertram.

Alan’s niece, Judith Bryson, said on Facebook: ‘Many thanks for all the lovely messages which have been appearing over the weekend for Alan.

‘It is lovely to see so many of his hammer circle friends and athletes remembering him. Also, thanks to scottishathletics for remembering him. I am so proud of what this wonderful man achieved.’

Myra Perkins said: ‘My PB performance came on the anniversary of losing my first coach and mentor Alan. Proud to have marked it in that way.

Some amazing distances from the other athletes, too, just showing the legacy he left. Wish he could have been there to see it.’

Mark Dry feels the same way and, after his own second place finish at Loughborough, hopes the best tribute will come at Hampden.

‘There were a few mentions for Alan over the weekend in the Scottish hammer and throws community,’ said Mark.

‘It was on social media and Andy Frost and Susan McKelvie spoke about it as well as Myra Perkins. He was certainly in the thoughts of a number of people.

‘The word ‘Legacy’ is used an awful lot in sport, and particularly since London 2012, and I don’t believe all of it is actually happening.

‘But there isn’t any doubt about Alan Bertram’s legacy.

‘We are looking at ‘full teams’ of Scottish athletes in men’s and women’s hammer at Hampden in the Games and that’s exactly what he would have wanted.

‘In fact, It was Alan’s own vision that we would reach this point and in the women we’ve four athletes fighting it out for selection. He would be very pleased indeed with that, no doubt.

‘Actions speak louder than words so hopefully between us we can come up with something a bit special at Hampden to mark his memory.

‘I know from my own point of view I have a few competitions coming up and everything is geared towards Glasgow 2014. That’s what matters to me at the minute.

‘There’s nobody getting out too far in the Commonwealth rankings and it is early as yet. I was second in Loughborough and Andy was third but the nature of rankings always is that they will change.

‘It doesn’t bother me at all what people are throwing in Canada or Australia or wherever at this moment in time. It is about what happens on the day and being at your best when it matters.’

*Remember the Summer Throws Event organised by Coach Mentor, Hugh Murray, takes place at Livingston on Sunday 8 June. Read more here about the Summer Throws event. Entries will be taken on the day


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